Saying NO Isn't That Hard

Saying no isn't all that hard, it's saying no and knowing WHY you're saying no that is sometimes challenging.

I grew up with lots of NO in my life. It did not ruin my life, but what it did do is make me think things through with my children.

It would be easy for me to say no a lot, just mimicking my own childhood, but I find that I actually say yes quite often (though perhaps not according to my kids). When I do say no, I try to think it through and know why I am choosing that answer.

Today's example:

My daughter just entered the sixth grade and tonight is the first school dance (PTA fundraiser). I said no. Fortunately she can't argue with me too much because her brothers had the same rule - no dances until 7th grade. Considering that I was not allowed to go to dances at all, I think that's pretty generous on my part. However, I actually have a reason for it. I simply think it's too young. It seems to me that there needs to be things (activities, events, privileges) that come from the sheer act of growing older, things you look forward to. If everything is allowed right away (dances, makeup, dating, alluring clothes, Facebook, etc), what do you have to look forward to, to work for, to be excited about?

So, she won't be going to the dance tonight, which leaves her available to go to her best friend's house for a sleepover.

She's got plenty to look forward to.

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